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meant a handsome competence, light residence, a venerable house, and a good living in the country. In Hales's time it meant a few decent rooms, a small dividend, home-made bread and beer at stated times, a constant attendance at the church service, and the sustaining society of some six or seven earnest like-minded men, grave students, at least under Savile,-mostly celibates. To such the life was dignified and attractive. Early rising, and a light breakfast. A long, studious morning, with Matins, an afternoon dinner, a quiet talk round the huge fire, or a stroll in the stately college garden with perhaps some few promising boys from the school—then merely an adjunct of the more reverend college, not an absorbing centre of life—more quiet work and early to bed. Busy, congenial monotony! There is no secret like that for a happy life!

After three years, this was broken into by a piece of vivid experience-Hales accompanied Sir Dudley Carleton, Ambassador to Holland, as his chaplain, and was despatched by him in 1618 to the Synod of Dort.

It must be clearly borne in mind that theological and religious problems then possessed a general interest for the civilised world, and for Englishmen in particular, which it cannot be pretended that they possess now. Political gossip has taken the place of theological discussion. Then, contemporary writers thought fit to lament the time


that common folk wasted in such disputes ; when the Trinitarian controversy could be discussed on the benches of an alehouse, and apprentices neglect their work to argue the question of prevenient grace,

feel that we are in an atmosphere which if not religious, was at any rate theological.

Hales went to Dort a Calvinist—that, in those days, is equivalent to saying that he had never given his theological position much attention. What he heard there is uncertain, for a more unbusinesslike meeting was never held; “ignor

' ance, passion, animosity, injustice," said Lord Clarendon, were its characteristics. There was no one to whose ruling speakers deferred. No one knew what subject was to be discussed next, often hardly what was under discussion. A third of the members disappeared, after what an eye-witness called a “pondering speech ” from the President. Such a theological schooling is too severe for a reflective mind.

Hales came home what was called a Latitudinarian, having, as he quaintly says, at the “well pressing" of St. John iii. 16, by Episcopius (a divine, present at the Synod), “bid John Calvin good-night.” A Latitudinarian translated into modern English would be a very broad churchman indeed. For it is evident that Hales's native humour, which was very strong, prevented him from even considering religious differences in a serious light ; theological scarecrows !” he said, half bitterly, half humorously. When in later years he was found reading one of Calvin's books, he said playfully, “ Formerly I read it to reform myself, but now I read it to reform him.” And the delightful comparison which he makes in one of his tracts is worth quoting, as showing the natural bent of his mind to the ludicrous side of these disputes; he compares the wound of sin and the supposed remedy of confession, to Pliny's cure for the bite of a scorpion—to go and whisper the fact into the ear of an ass.

Only once did he encounter the little restless, ubiquitous, statesman-priest, who so grievously mistook and under-rated the forces with which he had to deal, and the times in which he had fallen-Laud.

The whole incident is dramatic and entertaining in the highest degree. Hales, for the edification of some weak-minded friends, wrote out his views on schism, treating the whole subject with a humorous contempt for Church authority. This little tract got privately printed, and a copy fell into Laud's hands (as indeed, what dangerous matter did not ?), which he read and marked. He instantly sent for his recalcitrant subaltern, to be rated and confuted and silenced. The matter is exquisitely characteristic of Laud, both in the idea and in the method of carrying it out. " Mr. Hales came," says

says Heylyn,


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about nine o'clock to Lambeth on a summer morning," with considerable heart-sinking nu doubt. The Archbishop had him out into the garden, giving orders that they were on account to be disturbed. The bell rang for prayers, to which they went by the garden door into the chapel, and out again till dinner was ready—hammer and tongs all the time: then they fell to again, but Lord Conway and several other persons of distinction having meantime arrived, the servants were obliged to go and warn the disputants how the time was going. It was now about four in the afternoon. in they came," says Heylyn, “ high coloured and almost panting for want of breath; enough to show that there had been some heats between them not then fully cooled." The two little cassocked figures (both were very small men), with their fresh complexions, set off by tiny mustachios and imperials such as churchmen then wore, pacing up and down under the high elms of the garden, and arguing to the verge of exhaustion, form a wonderful picture.

Hales afterwards confessed that the interview had been dreadful. “ He had been ferreted," he said, “from one hole to another, till there was none left to afford him any further shelter ; that he was now resolved to be orthodox, and declare himself a true son of the Church of England both for doctrine and discipline.”

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Laud evidently saw the mettle of the man with whom he had to deal, and what a very dangerous, rational opponent he was, so he made him his own chaplain, and got the king to offer him a canonry at Windsor in such a way that refusal, much to Hales's distaste, was out of the question thus binding him to silence in a manner that would make further speech ungracious. so," said Hales, quietly grumbling at his wealthy loss of independence, “I had a hundred and fifty more pounds a year than I cared to spend."

During all these years Hales was a member of the celebrated Mermaid Club, so called from the tavern of that name in Friday Street.

Thither Shakespeare, Beaumont, Fletcher, Donne, and many more repaired. There he must have seen the coarse, vivacious figure of Ben Jonson, the presiding genius of the place, drinking his huge potations of canary, and warming out of his native melancholy into wit and eloquence, merging at last into angry self-laudation, and then into drunken silence, till at last he tumbled home with his unwieldy body, rolling feet, and big, scorbutic face, to sleep and sweat and write far into the night; a figure strangely similar down to the smallest characteristics, in his gloom, his greediness, his disputatious talk, to the great Samuel of that ilk, in all but the stern religious fibre that is somehow the charm of the latter.

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